Event promotional graphic.
To Keep or Not to Keep: The Value of the Retention Schedule
Zachary Bodnar and Billy McCarthy
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
1-2 pm EDT


Not all church records are historic. Church stewardship also encompasses the records your church is producing today. This might include vital records, meeting minutes, financial documents, and legal records, among others. Some need to be kept for a set period of time and can then be safely disposed of, while others will have lasting historic value. 

In this virtual workshop, Billy McCarthy and Zachary Bodnar will discuss the retention schedule, a policy document which lays out how records created today will be handled in the future. Creating such a document ensures that record keepers who come after you have a clear guide to what has been preserved and what should be preserved in the future.

Join us for this next program in the Congregational Library & Archives’ Church Stewardship Initiative, a series devoted to empowering churches to steward and preserve their valuable records. In this program, the CLA’s archivists Billy and Zachary will present a model retention schedule, speak to how federal and state regulations may affect the policy, and explain how to implement such a policy at your church.

The event is free to all, but registration is required via this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hp1nju97RtiYqqE_pHbTrw.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about the webinar.

For more information, please email programs@14beacon.org.


Zachary Bodnar graduated with a Masters of Library and Information Science from Simmons University, with a concentration in archives management, in 2018. Prior to his work at the CLA, Zachary worked at the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden archive, the Vassar College Special Collections, the Harvard Law School Library, and the Harvard Botany Libraries. Zachary joined the CLA as an Archives Assistant in 2017, helping to prepare materials for digitization through the New England’s Hidden Histories program. In 2018, he took on the title of Archivist. His professional interests include metadata collection and management, digital archiving, audio/visual preservation, and archives management.

Billy McCarthy graduated with a Masters of Library and Information Science from Simmons University with a concentration in Archival Management. Billy started working at CLA through a graduate internship and stayed on a part-time basis until he was hired full-time in 2018. Billy is the Head of Reader Services, helping the CLA’s visitors with reference requests and facilitating in-person research. Billy also serves as the collection manager for the archives, working with CLA’s offsite vendor to protect and maintain the organization’s archival records. Some of his professional interests include increasing access, collection management, processing of complex materials, and facilitating research.